Putin congratulates Erdoğan after election, irking Turkish opposition
ISTANBULRussian President Vladimir Putin has called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to congratulate him on the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) success in the country’s critical June 7 election, which resulted in the AKP winning 40 percent of the votes but laying aside a single party government option.
“Vladimir Putin has congratulated Recep Tayyip Erdoğan over the AKP’s success in the June 7 general elections.
Besides, the two leaders discussed the agenda topics of bilateral cooperation and the problems in implementing joint projects in the energy sector,” said a statement issued by the Kremlin press service.
In addition, the leaders also discussed the Sixth High-Level Russian-Turkish Cooperation Council, which will be held in the last quarter of the year in Kazan.
Meanwhile, the two leaders are scheduled to meet on June 13 after the opening ceremony of the 2015 European Games in Baku, according to presidential sources quoted by İhlas News Agency.
The opposition parties have immediately reacted to the phone conversation between the two leaders.
Republican People’s Party (CHP) Secretary General Gürsel Tekin said even Putin was aware of Erdoğan’s actual position.
“It is not only us who claim that the president is not impartial, despite the office of the presidency. Everyone knows that. Doesn’t Putin know who to call? Even the friend of Erdoğan understood that he does not see himself as the president but as the head of AKP. And he congratulates the president for the AKP’s election results,” said Gürsel.
Nationalist Movement Party deputy Oktay Vural claimed that Putin should actually have said get better soon instead of congratulations.
Vural also called the congratulations “unfortunate,” and a “diplomatic blunder. “I do not know whether Putin allegorized or not by congratulating. But the fact that he called Erdoğan is very unfortunate. Turkey is a country run by a parliamentary democracy. There is no Putin system in Turkey.”
Vural also said the call “ignored the Great National Assembly of Turkey in terms of parliamentary democracy and he should apologize,” adding that perhaps it had been a joke.
“Moreover,” he said, “it is not the president who is responsible for energy issues but the government and prime minister due to the country’s system. Someone should tell Putin that.”
The outcome of the June 7 elections saw a dramatic change in the country’s political landscape, as the AKP lost its parliamentary majority and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) crossed the notorious 10 percent threshold needed to enter parliament as a party.
The blow to the AKP, as well as to Erdoğan’s hopes of assuming greater powers through the implementation of a presidential system, came amid the HDP’s success in becoming the first-ever party focusing on the Kurdish issue to win more than 10 percent of the vote.